Process Modeler

The Process Modeler provides a web-based flow-chart design environment, which generates executable process applications automatically from the process diagram (without requiring you to export BPEL or compile the process model into machine language).

The Process Modeler supports the Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN) standard for diagramming business processes. BPMN is intended to allow people that design and manage business processes to use a standard notation, and to provide a formal mapping between the BPMN diagram and the software technologies used by BPM Software Systems. The default Process Modeler view is enhanced to include markers that indicate user assignment or automated activity. To remove these markers click View > BPMN View.

By using the BPMN diagram as a development interface, Appian allows developers, business analysts, managers, and business users to implement their processes collaboratively using web-based tools and definitions that can be bundled into portable process applications.

Creating a Process Model

Basic users must be a member of the Process Model Creators group in order to create new process models.

  • In the Application Designer interface, click the Processes tab.
  • In the left navigation, click Launch Process Modeler.
    • The Process Modeler opens in a pop-up window with two options to choose from. Both are described below.

Process Analyst View

The Process Analyst view provides flowchart tools with standard activities, events, and gateways – as well as the set of Appian Smart Services. Each of these process nodes has limited configuration options, allowing an analyst to describe the overall process without configuring data, users, and other node properties such as a task form.

See also: Process Analyst View

Process Designer View

This view allows you to perform all of the modeling and documentation activities of the Analyst View, plus you can double-click each activity, gateway, or event and incorporate your business rules, variables, and forms.

Each activity provides the following tabs when you double-click it to display its properties dialog box.

  • General: Allows you to name the activity and document its purpose. Each language is displayed on a separate property sheet on the General tab. You can set a display name for the task assigned by this activity or configure it as a Quick Task. See also: General Node Properties
  • Setup: (included in many smart service activities) Allows you to configure the specialized options available for the activity (such as uploading a document).
  • Data: Allows you to view and map the inputs for the activity to process variables. You can also apply rules and expressions to the return values from the activity - OR - If you want the activity to evaluate a rule, you can simply configure an output to use a rule or evaluate an expression. See also: Data Tab
  • Forms: (included when the activity requires user input) Allows you to create interfaces that will automatically map to existing inputs on the data tab. Alternatively, you can select an existing interface and have its inputs mapped to existing or new inputs on the data tab. You can also specify whether to give users the ability to save a draft of in-progress tasks (only enable this if you are saving user inputs into Activity Class Parameters). See also: SAIL Design, Forms Tab
  • Scheduling: Allows you to configure the node to run at a specific date and time. See also: Scheduling the Start of an Activity
  • Assignment: Allows you to assign the node to users or groups. You can also use lanes (swimlanes) for node assignment. See also: Assignment Tab
  • Escalations: Allows you to optionally configure actions to take in automatically if a task is not completed when expected. See also: Escalating a Task
  • Exceptions: Allows you to optionally configure rules or events that flag exceptions and reroute the flow as a result. See also: Exception Flows
  • Other: Allows you to configure various options, such as whether the node can be run by different users at the same time. See also: Other Tab

Getting Started

  • Process Model Tutorial: Walks you through the required steps for creating your first process model.
  • Process Models: Discusses the different components that make up a process model and configuration options.

Develop, Test, and Monitor

Process models are validated, saved, and published from the Process Modeler's Process Designer interface.

  • When executed, a process model spawns a new process instance.
  • In-flight modifications can be made to each process instance – either from the Process Details or through the Process Modeler environment (using Monitor mode or Edit mode).
  • When the edit or monitor mode is selected, the selected process instance is loaded onto the process modeler with the current state of execution highlighted.
  • Monitoring a process allows you to perform the following actions.
    • Pause the process
    • Resume the process
    • Pause a selected flow object.
    • Start a new instance of a task.
    • Trigger scheduled activities
  • Editing a process allows you to view the state of a process, change the flow of a process, add new flow objects, or modify the flows of a process.

You must hold process administrator rights to make run-time changes to a process. Other users cannot view these options.

Edit a Process Node

  • Right-click the process node on the Canvas. The following options are displayed:


Cut
Deletes the activity from the designer canvas, while creating a duplicate on the clipboard.
Copy
Creates a duplicate of the selected node on the clipboard. Only one process node can be selected at a time. Process flows are not copied.
Paste
Adds a node to the Canvas that has been duplicated using the Cut or Copy commands. You can paste a selected process node onto the same process model, or onto a different process model open in another tab.
Delete
Removes the node from the designer canvas without copying to the clipboard. The <Delete> key also performs this command.
Properties
Opens the Configure <ACTIVITY> dialog box, which displays various configuration options.
Escalations
Displays the Escalations tab of the Configure <ACTIVITY> dialog box.

Known Issues

  • In Microsoft Edge, navigating using the up and down arrows in a text area is partially broken. See Microsoft developer site for additional details.
  • In Microsoft Edge, closing process modeler is not working after print is canceled. See Microsoft developer site for additional details.
  • In Microsoft Edge, copying and pasting text in the rich text editor causes some lines to lose its styling. See Microsoft developer site for additional details.
  • In Chrome, the context menu doesn't open when certain extensions override the behavior of the mouse's right-click button. For example: Linkclump
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